VCSO preliminary report: Rendon charged SPPD Officer with raised knife
Published:  April 18, 2017

The Santa Paula man killed in an officer involved shooting on April 9 was armed with a knife when he charged a woman motorist and later sprinted toward the officers who responded with the knife raised.

According to Sgt. Ron Chips of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, that is when Santa Paula Police Sr. Officer Matt Alonzo shot Jose Rendon Rendon, 36, at close range, who fell within feet of the officer.

According to the preliminary report released by the VCSO Tuesday, the incident began about 6:21 a.m. when the SPPD received an anonymous 911 call of a suspicious subject in the 100 block of East Ventura Street.

According to Chips’ statement, “The female reporting party stated that a Hispanic male armed with a knife had charged at her vehicle as she drove on East Ventura Street. The reporting party provided a description of the male and requested that officers respond because she was concerned about the safety of other residents of the densely-populated apartment complex located in the area.”

At about 6:36 a.m., Alonzo, Officer John Coffelt, and Officer Frank Huerta arrived in the area and began to look for the male.

“Less than a minute later, Sr. Officer Alonzo observed a male matching the description of the suspicious subject standing near the end of a long driveway armed with a large kitchen-style knife,” and about a minute later the officer involved shooting occurred.

Rendon was struck several times; Santa Paula Fire and an ambulance paramedic responded to the scene where Rendon was declared deceased.

According to Chips, Rendon was believed to have been living in the apartment complex at the time of this incident.

The SPPD requested the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office take over the investigation and its Major Crimes Bureau is currently handling the investigation.

Results of the preliminary investigation have revealed that about 20 minutes prior to the 911 call Rendon, for unknown reasons, was involved in an altercation with roommates in his apartment before arming himself with two kitchen knives and leaving.

Additional witnesses reported seeing Rendon walking around the apartment complex and along nearby streets while holding at least one knife. One witness also reported seeing Rendon
 “involved in a physical altercation with an unidentified male subject within the apartment complex.”

Upon observing Rendon, Chips stated Alonzo “Stopped his patrol unit in the middle of East Ventura Street and exited,” taking a position standing near the rear of his patrol car.

Simultaneously, “Rendon began to sprint toward the officer with the knife held up in a threatening manner. Despite multiple commands to drop the knife made by Sr. Officer Alonzo, Rendon continued to advance,” at a running pace.

“As Rendon came to within close proximity,” of Alonzo he fired six shots from his duty firearm. Five of the six shots struck Rendon, causing him to fall to the ground in the middle of East Ventura Street within several feet of Alonzo.

A second knife was located in the area where Alonzo initially observed Rendon.

Chips noted that, “As of yet, Major Crimes detectives have been unable to identify the male subject that was reported to have been involved in the altercation with Rendon. Detectives are asking that anyone with information about this person or anyone who may have witnessed Rendon’s actions prior to the officer-involved shooting,” to contact him at the Major Crimes Bureau.

Santa Paula Police have body worn cameras but Chips said they were not activated during the incident.

Chips can be reached at 805-384-4737 or by email, ron.chips@ventura.org




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